Pinkerton ends Bishop Guertin’s winning streak

DERRY – It was nice while it lasted. The Bishop Guertin High School football team’s march into and through the postseason hit a solid red wall called the Pinkerton Academy Astros.

The much bigger hosts were able to move the ball at will, racking up 338 yards, all on the ground en route to a 35-0 whitewashing of the Cardinals in Saturday’s Division I semifinals.

“It was a great run. I’m happy with our kids,” Guertin coach Travis Cote said. “The push that we had (four straight wins), they kept playing hard week after week after week. What can you do? That’s a great football team (the Astros).”

Guertin (5-6) almost scored first in the game in the first quarter but Kyle Cushion fumbled the ball away inside the Astros 5-yard line on BG’s second possession. After that, it was all Pinkerton, as the Astros put together an exhausting 12-play, 96-yard drive. T.J. Urbanik, who had 143 yards on 18 carries, scored the first of his three touchdowns in capping off that march.

Later, in the second quarter, Urbanik finished a 13-play, 85-yard march with an 18-yard scoring run that helped make it 14-0. For good measure, Pinkerton’s Brett Dattilo ran it in from 11 yards out (an eight-play, 67-yard drive) as the Astros took a 21-0 lead into halftime.

“I didn’t think we did a good job tackling today,” Cote said. “We had a chance to stop them in the backfield a few times, and we didn’t tackle as well as we have over the last few weeks. Those extra yards were key for them to keep the chains moving.

“You can’t have that offense on the field as much as they were, running as many plays as they did today and expect you’re going to keep them off the scoreboard. … They were able to grind it out and do what they do.”

“A lot better job by BG this time than the last time,” Pinkerton coach Brian O’Reilly said, his 11-0 team now headed for a 6 p.m title game Nov. 22 against fellow unbeaten Bedford at the University of New Hampshire. “It was tough sledding in there. But I kept it front of me the whole time. They weren’t adjusting, so we just kept running and it was a matter of getting 3, 4, 5, 7 yards the whole time.”

It didn’t end there, obviously. Pinkerton did have its opening second half drive stall but Astro Riley Cahill picked off a Cushion pass at midfield and returned it to the BG 23 midway through the third period. That set up an Urbanik 1-yard fourth down TD plunge and the Astros led 27-0 with 4:11 left in the period.

They finished the scoring with just over three minutes left in the third on Nick Coombs’ 47-yard punt return for a TD.

Other than the drive that ended with Cushion’s fumble, Guertin’s only other threat was with time running out in the first half. Three Jordan Hiscoe (8-21-106) completions got the Cards down to the Pinkerton 9 but referees ultimately ruled that a spike of the ball with three-tenths of a second on the clock was too late.

“We had some chances to score early and we didn’t capitalize,” Cote said. “Can’t take anything away from them, they’re a good football team. I’m proud of our kids though.”